September 28-October 4, 2020

September 30, 2020

The day before the full moon. The winds are still super light, the skies are bright and blue all day. Makaʻiwa and Anchors were amazing the past few days and I finally had time to paddle out after work today, getting out to the break around 2:30.

The swell was down a bit from the past few days but the sets were still solid, almost head high. As has been typical lately here, the rights were less consistent, mostly just wedging up for a big drop and then nothing. I did manage to find one right that ran down the reef for a while, through that second bowling section, then the wave split, with one wall peeling back away from the shore. I managed to make it over to that little weird section running almost perpendicular to the shore, pushing me north across the shallowest sections of the reef.

Apart from that, the real highlights were the lefts, long, steep, and fast. A few sucked up and spit at the ends and most ran all the way into the slabbing section near the anchor. I found left after left, sometimes making it into the pocket. Two were spectacular, fast and steep, over the greens and blacks of the reef. I recall thinking, as my last wave stood up and the bottom dropped out, “You make this. Grab your rail.” This thought seemed to unfurl slowly, but also between heartbeats. I did in fact make it and grab my rail and then speed down the line past the wall seemingly always bending towards me, the lip threatening my head, before I made it out to the edge for a snap over the second section.

***

The old english name for October is winterfylleð. No longer the eighth month, this name perhaps references October and its former place near the beginning of winter. This year, October has two full moons; the first one is a harvest moon on October 1, and the second is on the 31st.

I watched the harvest moon rise this month. Erin and I went for a walk on the path above Kealia Kai just after moonrise. We watched it rise, larger than it should be, orange then yellow then bright white as it marked the minutes up the sky. And the ocean turned silver and alive.

Harvest moon walk with Erin, Oct 1, 2020

October 2, 2020

Kealia, high tide, body surfed, Violet got rolled, caught a few shore breaks on the beater.

October 3, 2020

M— rescheduled our trip to the north shore, so I paddled back out to Anchors around 8:00 this morning. Ran in to L— who advised me that the tide was low. “The tide is always low out there,” I thought, as I paddled out into the glassiest ocean I’ve seen in a while. The swell was smaller than Wednesday, topping out at chest high, but the conditions were perfect, glass, see through, like ice on a window pane, like the Metolious.

This morning each wave was nearly silent. I could hear the sounds of my board and myself gliding over water. The lefts especially were fun. I felt close to the wave on most drops, face to face, he alo ahe alo, like Aunty Pua wants us to know each other.

Despite the amazing clean conditions, and playful size, this wave is never forgiving. I was sent flying on a few late drops, each time pushed down to the flat ledge below, before being rolled back up to the sky. Nothing too bad. Just enough to be reminded that this is the ocean.

We ended the day at Kealia again, with the girls, for more body surfing. Lots of big whompers.

October 4, 2020

M— and I headed straight to Hideaways after meeting at sunrise at Kealia. I was excited about getting a good clean big swell, but it was not to be. The direction was weird, with the waves only breaking in one spot, inside a bit, crowded by 7 or 8 surfers, mostly missing the sets. We went down to check Pine Trees and Middles, but neither seemed promising, so we headed down to Kahili, Rock Quarry.

The parking lot was full with cars and trucks spilling up the hill, so we assumed the line up was equally packed. We found out later that the excess vehicles were from the huge party the night before. The line up was basically empty with two guys over on a warbly right and two guys over on the left. We paddled for the right, thinking the reef would be helping the waves breaking steadily, but M— quickly changed his mind and headed across the bay. I stayed on the right for three waves, all large, well over head, but none clean. One closed out and the other two were covered in what felt like dozens of speed bumps.

I made my way across the bay to meet M— on the left against the rock wall. This is normally a powerful, hollow, fast wave that heaves across the sand bars, but today the peaks were showing outside, then feathering in and breaking at three spots at once, making it difficult to find the clean edge or face. Even when we did find one, the steep and hollow ride was nowhere to be found.

Eventually we were visited by two seagulls flying low, one hovering just a few feet over M—ʻs back. These were joined by a half dozen ʻiwa birds gliding way up high. Over the last hour of the session, something changed. Maybe the tide dropped enough or maybe I finally found the right spot, but I picked off the edge of a large set wave, made the drop and looked down the line at a huge, long, clean wall. I made a few turns and cutbacks, and boosted a nice air off the last section. From then on, the rides were fun, longer, hollower, faster.

Once time was called on the morning, by familial responsibilities, we headed back to the truck and were met by a couple of talkative young men. They sounded like they were speaking my language but half of what they said was not making sense. Eventually I picked out some key phrases. “Fun out there?” Then, “Were you here last night?” before I could answer, and then “Nah, thatʻs his blue car, itʻs melting, itʻs the mushrooms,” before I could answer that. “Itʻs my momʻs car. Itʻs a banga.”

I donʻt know how to end a conversation with people tripping on mushrooms, but M— and I managed to leave eventually, and that was that.

2 thoughts on “September 28-October 4, 2020

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